Travelling can be challenging for autistic people due to significant sensory and social demands and unfamiliar environments. Carrying certain items can provide comfort and a sense of control, making the journey more manageable and enjoyable.
Here are some items to consider packing as an autistic traveller:
Headphones: for blocking out overwhelming noises or listening to calming music or interesting podcasts/audiobooks.
Earplugs: a simple tool for reducing unwanted sounds and distractions – we like Loops.
Sunflower lanyard: this discreet indicator informs others of hidden disabilities, prompting extra assistance or patience. Many airports now have quieter areas you can access if you wear a sunflower lanyard.
Fidget toy: can help manage anxiety and focus.
Comfortable clothing: including easy-to-remove shoes for stress-free movement and comfort.
Project or hobby: bringing a familiar and engaging activity can provide a comforting distraction.
Reading material: a good book or e-reader can be a great escape.
Snack: having a preferred snack (safe food) on hand can help manage hunger and stress.
Reusable water bottle: staying hydrated is crucial, and having a familiar bottle can be reassuring; just remember to empty it before going through security.
Sunglasses: ideal for dealing with bright lights and reducing visual stimuli.
Travel pillow: for comfort during long journeys.
Notepad and pen: useful for jotting down thoughts, schedules, or for doodling.
Travelling can be a rewarding experience, offering new sights, sounds, and experiences. By packing these items, autistic travellers can better manage their needs and enjoy their journey more fully.
What are your travel essentials? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
P.S. Thanks to our followers on social media who helped us compile this list.